16 Hobbies That Are As Cool As They Are Insane
Some of the best hobbies out there make tedious activities more exciting: like extreme ironing! There isn’t much to explain about the rules, it’s just ironing clothes, but in the most outrageous of areas, like on top of mountains or on sky slopes. It’s also a pretty organized sport, it has its own international association and its own world championship.
The first one took place back in 2002. The original extreme ironist is Phil Shaw, who came up with this hobby when faced with an impossible choice: either do his chores and iron his clothes or go rock climbing. Needless to say, he went for both at the same time. Phil decided to call himself “Steam” and went on an international tour to promote extreme ironing.
If you like painting and miniatures too, you might want to give this hobby a shot too: painting on pennies! Some have tried depicting the most intricate landscapes on the tiny canvas, and even if it might take a lot of effort and patience, it does look awesome in the end.
Speaking of mindful activities, try balancing rocks every now and then. It means taking some unusually shaped rocks and balancing them, so they stay vertical, on uneven surfaces. Bonus tip, if you have a camera laying around, you’ll surely amaze your friends with these pictures: it certainly looks like gravity stopped working when you see these amazing rocks almost floating around.
For those equally as passionate about rocks, you might also try stone skipping. Just bring a flat oval stone next time you stroll by a lake, and try to make it bounce on the water surface as many times as you can. The current record is pretty amazing: 88 bounces in one single throw!
News raiding has to be one of the funniest hobbies out there: it means popping up as a passerby in the background of television reporters. It does take a lot of planning skills, and you really need to be both creative and spontaneous to bring out the best representations. The most talented news raider is a man named Paul Yarrow. He sneaked in a lot of broadcasts on TV. There are even collections of his appearances online if you’re looking for some inspiration.
Don’t you just love it when you light up a new scented candle in the living room? Well, next time that favorite candle of yours is just about done, you don’t need to worry about wasting the last layer of wax at the bottom of the jar. Leave it to the online communities to teach you how to make candles at home by mixing or reusing leftover wax.
It’s easy to remove that last layer of wax by heating the candle from the outside a bit, just enough to detach it from the glass container. Otherwise, just slip the whole jar in the freezer, it works just the same. The next part is totally up to you: melt the wax and place it in a smaller jar, or mix different scents to create a new one. All you’ll need to finish the candle is a new wick — which you’ll easily find online.
On the subject of perfumed hobbies, you might try making essential oils at home as well. Especially if you have herbs or plants that you grow at home and don’t want to waste them. People use crock pots to boil the plants until the oils separate and then use these essences around their household: for their laundry or even homemade cleaning products.
Here’s another creative hobby that helps bring the outdoors closer to your living room: aquascaping! It’s a process through which you can create your own submerged or semi-submerged garden. You’ll need some water-loving plants and a leak-proof container, like a fishbowl. It’s also best if you use filtered or distilled water, it makes the whole garden look a bit clearer. Add some clean gravel or substrate to the bottom of the container and arrange the plants to your liking. You can try recreating scenes from your favorite movies or books, like shipwrecks or underwater kingdoms!
You might not be able to try this unusual hobby if you don’t like flying, but just know there are people out there that have big collections of airplane sick bags. Empty sick bags, don’t worry! It’s pretty self-explanatory: just take those paper bags that the airlines provide before lift off and add them to your collection. There are even sites where you can sell these bags or swap them with other collectors. One airplane bag connoisseur from Singapore grew his collection to an amazing 388 bags! He managed to gather them from 186 different countries.
The people that can make the best impressions of a cow are called mooers and yes, that’s another example of an unusual hobby. It is a competitive sport too, in case you’re wondering. The biggest prize can go up to 1000$ and the latest was won in Wisconsin by a 10-year-old boy.
Others find it relaxing to simply create things with their hands, that’s where decoupage comes in. It means covering an object with colored paper or cutout pictures by using glue. The options are endless, you can try scraping boxes, book covers, or even old pieces of furniture. Not to mention it’s a nice way to customize your gifts.
For competitive dog grooming you’ll actually need to be a pet stylist first. But there are legitimate competitions that transform some dog breeds into walking artworks. They use dyes to color the fur and various other utensils to sculpt the dog hairs. In some contests, all the styling needs to be done within a couple of hours.
Most competitive dog groomers like to work with poodles, because their fur has the best characteristics for shaping and coloring. The dogs love the attention they get, and, most importantly, it’s mandatory for the competitors to use safe, non-toxic products.
Wild birds do great all by themselves, but they do benefit from human assistance if done right. Native bird watchers help them by planting native hedges, installing bird boxes and making watered areas, like bird baths. More so, they help provide these birds with the right food, so that they have the best nutrients to survive over the colder season or care for their young. Some pet supply stores even provide pre-made bird food packs that may include special supplements for the birds.
Snowdrops are some of the most loved flowers around the world, since they let us know spring is just about to arrive. It’s no wonder exclusive snowdrop societies exist online. There is even a name for snowdrop lovers: galanthophiles! Flower loving hobbies aside, some people make a good living from growing these delicate plants, as they can go for over 700$!
Tree shaping is a great hobby too if you have the patience for it. It involves taking trees or other woody plants to create structures and art. They can be abstract or symbolic, or actual functional elements, like benches or chairs. Three shapers do their thing through a bunch of different methods, like instant tree shaping — which means bending the wood into the desired design until it retains the shape.
Then there is gradual tree shaping, which involves controlling the growth of the tree and guiding it along predetermined design routes, by using jigs or wires. One famous tree shaper was John Krubsack, an American banker and farmer based in Wisconsin. He designed the first known grown chair, which was harvested back in 1914.
Online forums are a never-ending source of ideas if you’re looking for a new hobby. So, there’s one idea introduced by a Reddit user that involves making your own salt but in a totally unique way. You can always find powdered salt, but not salt in square cubes. Never crossed my mind, but this crystal enthusiast was eager to make the perfect, transparent salt cubes.
You’ll know what they look like if you’ve ever visited the Dead Sea over in Israel. Since he could find very little information online on how to make these perfect cubes, he decided to write a guide that’s now available online, if you’re interested. Turns out you can grow them as big as you like!